Heriot-Watt top EoS League but students grounded

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Heriot-Watt University boss Banji Koya guided his side to the top of the East of Scotland League on Saturday but warned: “I can’t remember a time when they handed out titles in October”.

A 9-0 victory over bottom club Burntisland Shipyard at Riccarton allowed the students to leapfrog Eyemouth United on goal difference with league champions Leith Athletic whom they meet this weekend a further two points adrift albeit Watt have played two games more.

Watt simply tore Burntisland to shreds with Adam Breen netting four, captain Chris Donnelly bagging himself a hat-trick and Scott Munro and Elliot Sutherland also putting their names on the scoresheet.

However, Koya continues to keep his and his players’ feet firmly on the ground.

“Listen I’ve been in football a long time. I’m not even thinking about it [the league table] at all. If I’m still speaking about this in April then fair enough. There’s still a lot of games to go so we’re happy where we are but it’s just about progressing each week. I can’t remember a time when they handed out titles in October.

“Leith, Lothian [Thistle Hutchison Vale] and Tynecastle are still the benchmark. We’re nowhere near that level just now but we aspire to be. Win, lose or draw against Leith this weekend won’t have any bearing on the process we are trying to achieve at the club.”

On last Saturday’s win Koya added: “We treat everyone with respect so we prepared as normal. There was certainly no mindset of ‘oh Burntisland are bottom of the league’ so I warned the guys of that. It was just good to get a win, the scoreline was irrelevant.

“We’ve changed the mindset right throughout the club. The players are working hard in training and supporting one another. That’s really helped the team spirit this year. We’re doing one-on-ones and have a lot of team meetings so it’s a lot more player focussed this year.”

Elsewhere, Tynecastle battled back to secure a 2-2 draw with Stirling University at Saughton Enclosure. Stevie Vinter’s men found themselves 2-0 down after 25 minutes but goals from Mikey Catlin and Pieyam Khosrowpour salvaged a point. Meanwhile, Lothian Thistle were 4-2 winners over hosts Ormiston at Recreation Park.